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Rike Doepp, creative director of Agency V Rike Doepp, creative director of Agency V

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An agent’s perspective: Rike Doepp of Agency V

Freitag, Nov. 26, 2010, 15:49 / Denmark

Agency V is an important player on the Scandinavian market, well known for discovering upcoming names and supporting independent designers. Danish labels such as WoodWood and Henrik Vibskov enjoy their popularity in Germany and increasingly worldwide – thanks to Agency V’s timely approach in strategically placing designers into the right market. MOSHROOM temporary showroom, opening today, is their latest project taking place during Copenhagen Fashion Week.

We spoke with Rike Doepp, creative director and co-founder of the Agency V, and discovered what makes a successful PR and sales agent.

TribaSpace: How did you start working in the fashion business?
Rike Doepp: I was studying Chinese in Munich, when I read about Girault-Totem. I knew, that I wanted to work there and moved to Berlin. Just by coincidence, I got an apprenticeship and I ended up staying several years there. Afterwards, I worked for Andreas Murkudis, A.P.C., BLESS and Bread & Butter. I have always been interested in retail and I was going back and forth between retail and PR for a long time. At 26 I was rather young when I started the PR branch at Agency V, but I had my two partners, that made it easier.

What was the idea and philosophy behind Agency V and how did it all evolve since the agency was launched?
We’re three partners coming from different backgrounds. Jacob Valdemar did Sales, I did PR and Julia Menthel was a designer before. We are trying to merge these three elements – to push sales through strategic PR, but with a designer’s perspective. The designer and his or her personality is in the center of our communication.

As emerging designers have to think on a global scale, we have to do the same as their agency – we have always been doing shows and showrooms in Paris, London, Copenhagen and New York. Instead of growing too big in Berlin, we’re opening small hubs now. We just opened NYC and will soon open an office in Copenhagen.

Agency V’s focus is on Scandinavia, as well as upcoming independent designers whom your agency defines and incorporates the entire brand strategy for. How did the perception of the industry change in terms of acceptance and support for independent labels and smaller brands? And what is the secret of your success as an agency?
Scandinavian designers have a good way of dealing with the market I think, they do great design – but they also know how to sell it. After all, a fashion designer has to do something that is needed by the customer – and they can do that somehow.

Our secret is purely that we believe in our designers and that we’re very excited about their work. It’s our taste. Every time I go to the small in-house pre-presentations of our designers, when everything is still a mess and we’re sitting on the floor to fit all the people in the room, I am convinced that the world has to see this.

You support the summer fashion academy run by Fashion Patrons in Berlin; please tell us a bit about the project, your role in it and your motivation to do so.
I am very interested in the months before and after a designer actually starts to run a label. Some simple steps can make life easier, deadlines, some conventions… I would like to help designers to simplify this starting period, to balance the collection and to get it out to the right people. A young designer has to be able to dream and have a strong vision, he or she has to dare to live these dreams – but clever enough to balance the collection in a commercial way.

You have moved from Berlin to New York, where you have already worked many times. What inspires you in NYC?
I love the state of New York more than the city to be honest, the countryside is really beautiful. But NYC is great for working, you have an idea in the morning and have it done in the afternoon. I have met a lot of interesting people there and everyone is up for doing something. According to Julia though, I use the word “like” to often now, I have to work on that.

Your plans and wishes for your professional future?
Basically, to continue what we are doing right now.

BERLIN, Karl-Marx-Allee 83 10243
Berlin, Germany
T +49 30 420 19 - 200
F +49 30 420 19 - 266

Natasha Binar | TribaSpace

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